ACTA Getting Slapped Down In The EU, Sanity Prevailing?
You all know ACTA. Or if you don’t, you now do. There is a batch of good news regarding the fate of this secretive machination writing in treaty form. Three European Parliament committees have given the son of a bitch a slap down. Sanity, get!
Michael Geist has more detail on the fortunes of ACTA, the secretive copyright treaty that seems to be crash-landing in Europe, about which Rob posted earlier:
Earlier today, three European Parliament committees studying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI), the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) – all voted against implementing ACTA. The rejection from all three committees confirms the lack of support with the Parliament for ACTA. A final European Parliament vote is expected in July with additional committee recommendations coming next month.
The strength of the anti-ACTA movement within the European Parliament is part of a broader backlash against secretive intellectual property agreements that are either incorporated into broad trade agreements or raise critical questions about prioritizing IP enforcement over fundamental rights. This week the Dutch Parliament voted against ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a move that some experts say could effectively kill ACTA (which is a “mixed agreement”) throughout Europe. The opposition to ACTA-style treaties (which obviously include the Trans Pacific Partnership and bi-lateral agreements such as CETA) is part of a growing international trend as elected officials and independent policy officials around the world voice their objection to these treaties.
The implications of this backlash are significant as they points to increasing discomfort with the inclusion of intellectual property chapters within large scale trade agreements. Indeed, intellectual property is invariably one of the major stumbling blocks within these agreements – whether the inclusion of the Internet provisions in ACTA, the TPP IP chapter, and the Canada-European Union Trade Agreement which is facing a major backlash over the IP rules. Note that these are not “anti-IP countries” but rather countries that recognize that trade agreements frequently do not yield intellectual property rules that serve their national interest. The development of global IP norms is important, but it belongs in open, transparent, inclusive multilateral institutions, not secretive trade deals like ACTA, the TPP, and CETA.
We will see, won’t we?